Supervisor Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can my FWS/SSE student work more than 20 hours?
A: A Summer Student Employee (SSE) is not to work more than 20 hours a week. A Federal Work Study (FWS) student is not to work more than 20 hours a week, except during an official academic break. During the official university academic breaks the FWS student may work up to 40 hours a week.
Q: If class is cancelled, can the FWS/SSE student work during this time?
A: No. FWS/SSE student workers are not permitted to work during their scheduled class time, regardless if it was cancelled.
Q: Do FWS and/or SSE students have to sign up for direct deposit?
A: FWS students are allowed to participate in the Direct Deposit program, but it is not required. However, a SSE worker will be required to sign up for the Direct Deposit program.
Q: What are the requirements for being FICA Exempt?
A: Student employees may be exempt from FICA taxes under the Student FICA Exception of the IRS Code Section 3121(b)(10). In order to be exempt from FICA the student must be enrolled part time in a degree seeking program. Part time is 6 credit hours for undergraduates and 5 credit hours for graduates. A student may also be considered half time for the FICA exemption while they are in their final semester and enrolled in the number of credit hours needed to complete the degree requirements, including dissertation and thesis hours. Additionally, the student cannot work full time and still receive exemption except during scheduled academic breaks (finals week is not an academic break).
Q: What is TERP?
A: The Temporary Employee Retirement Plan is a
defined contribution plan authorized under Section 401(a) of the Internal
Revenue Code. BENCOR, Inc. is the plan administrator for the University
of South Florida. U.S. Bank is the trustee and handles all deposits into
and distributions of the plan for the University and BENCOR. General
information is available on the HR website at the following link: http://usfweb2.usf.edu/human-resources/benefits/terp.asp
Q: Where can I find HR Payroll Forms?
A: All Human Resource forms are listed by
department at the following link: http://usfweb2.usf.edu/human-resources/azindex/forms.asp
I give my FWS/SSE student a pay increase?
A: Yes, but only at the beginning of an
academic year. No mid-year raises are permitted. The
recommended raise increment for returning student workers should
not exceed $0.25.
Q: What is Pay Distribution Process?
A: Pay distribution is a biweekly process that accumulates, posts, and reports the total payroll charges that are incurred and paid to an FWS/SSE employee for the actual hours worked. Pay distribution for the FWS/SSE employee is entered into GEMS by either University Payroll or a department representative within the GEMS3 role via and Appointment Distribution Form.
For an overview of the pay distribution process the department should refer to the Pay Distribution section of the COMPASS Business Procedures. For training departments should utilize the Talent Management Website. The training is as follows:
- GEMS PAY Distribution GEM400 - This training
is offered by HR Payroll on an as-needed basis. It covers GEMS
combo codes, updating pay distribution in GEMS, Retro Distributions
and payroll ledgers.
Q: What reports are available
for monitoring our department's Spending Authority Allocation?
A: There is a query available through GEMS that will assist the departments in tracking their student award allocation. This public query name is U_Payroll_Posting_Ledger. The department will input a date range, their department, Fund (28000), and any other parameters that may be useful.
Q: What reports are available for monitoring award balances?
A: There is a report available through GEMS which tracks the FWS/SSE balances by department. This report summarizes the award amount, amount paid, and the available award balance for each FWS/SSE student. Us the following path in GEMS to run the report: Home>USF Menu Items>USF Menu Items>Report>FWS Balances by Dept
Q: Where can I get more information on the CERTS process?
A: Payroll Certification is the process by
which departments submit to Payroll the hours to be paid for each employee
within each department. This process utilizes the Web-Based Certification
System, or "Certs", and the use of specific paper certification
forms to be used only when required. There are several online resources
and training available for those who need information or instructions
on how to prepare and certify payroll. For an overview of the
overall certification process department should refer to the
Payroll Certification Process section of the COMPASS Business Procedures. For
online interactive training departments should utilize the Talent
Management Website. There are two separate training demonstrations
- How to Prepare Payroll HRPRP - this demonstrates the steps and
guidelines for preparing payroll using USF's online payroll
- How to Certify Payroll HRPRC - this demonstrates the steps and guidelines
for certifying payroll using USF's online payroll certification
Q: My student does not have any exams during exam week. Can they work 40 hours that week?
A: No, they may only work 40 hours on a recognized school break such as winter break or spring break. Exam week is not a recognized school break.
Q: My student has money left on their award, can my department give them an hourly pay increase a month before their appointment is scheduled to end?
A: No, pay increases can only be granted to students returning to employment the beginning of Fall semester. The recommended increase amount should not exceed 25 cents.
Q: I provided a copy of the job posting/job description in the beginning of Fall semester and now I am reappointing my student(s) for Spring. Do I have to provide another copy of the job posting/job description with the ASF?
A: Yes, a copy of the job posting/job description is required to be attached to the paperwork each time a student is reappointed.
Q: Can a student work a FWS job 20 hours per week and also have another non FWS appointment?
A: Yes, but the student is not allowed to be paid overtime on a FWS appointment.
Q: I have $6,200 in Spending Authority allocation. I am concerned that if students are awarded $4,500 in FWS, yet my allocation for their position is less, students are going to be concerned that they cannot earn their full award. How do I address this?
A: In the event your Spending Authority Allocation is not easily divisible by the standard $4,500 award amount, you will have to make a decision regarding how you would like to use the money to create positions. For instance, if you are given $6,200 in Spending Authority Allocation you could do either of the following:
- Two appointments at 12 hours per week for approximately 32 weeks at $8 per hour for a total spending of $6,144
- One appointment at 17 hours per week for 32 weeks at $8 ($4,352) and one appointment at 7 hours per week for 32 weeks at $8 ($1,792) for a total spending of $6,144
If you choose the first option, your two students will only be able to earn about $3,072 of their $4,500 award. As long as this is understood in the hiring process, you may find that some students are okay with this. However, if you choose the second option, at least one of your student workers will be able to earn close to their $4,500 award and another student will work minimal hours. In the second scenario, you may find it difficult to find a student willing to only earn about $1,792 of their award. On the other hand, some students have smaller awards and/or would prefer more loans (which would reduce their FWS award). For these students, a 7 hour per week job might be perfect.
NOTE: If you have an FWS/SSE question and do
not see it here, please send it via an email to the Career Center's FWS